The GreenHouse: UMD’s new sustainability living/learning community
Incoming UMD freshman were invited to apply to be a part of a unique experiment, a ‘Living/Learning Sustainability Community’.
‘The GreenHouse’ is that community, where 28 freshman live on the same floor of Ianni Hall and take the same section of Freshman Seminar. Their Resident Advisor provides sustainability-themed programming, and they take monthly field trips to explore various facets of sustainability in the Duluth community.
The Duluth community is an important part of campus life, so students hiked on the Superior Hiking Trail from UMD to Enger Tower.
The ‘Seminar’ class is a class which helps students transition to college life, and covers a wide variety of topics, from ‘Registering for Classes’ to ‘Study Habits’ to ‘Working in Groups.’ Many topics lend themselves to experiential forms of learning, and this can be a unique and memorable way to learn lessons.
An important aspect of sustainability is food, and food production. Students have the opportunity to tour UMD’s Sustainable Agriculture Project (a ten-acre farm which provides food to the UMD Dining Center) and the Victus Farm Project (a unique fish and plant aquaponic food production operation).
Still to come this semester are tours to Minnesota Power’s Boswell Energy Center, the HibTac mine, Goodwill Industries,and much more.
The GreenHouse has been a unique and very successful experiment in blending dorm life, college classes, the community in which we live and sustainability.